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Minutes of the Open A11y Expert Handlers SIG Call 2008/11/17

Preliminary Business


  • Neil Soiffer (NS/chair)
    • Pete Brunet (PB)
    • Mick Curran (MC)
    • Jamie Teh (JT)
      • regrets: Janina Sajka, Alexander Surkov

Agenda Review

Approval of Last Meeting's Minutes

Minutes of Expert Handlers Conference Call 2008/11/17

Topic 1: Examining Specialized Content Markup Languages

NS: investigated SBO (Systems Biology Ontology)-- using content markup to mark variables and relationships between variables in different models; MathML deeply embedded in there; it's clearly a part of it, but limited to mathematical aspects and not to biological equations

GJR: do they make proper use of MathML?

NS: yes, from what i saw, they are using properly - using content side to convey semantics - done very well; just one part of whole model

NS: quite a large collection - 250 models; active group - European funding

GJR: any SVG or SVG use?

NS: wasn't looking for it, but didn't run across it in my wandering through the site

NS: what should we get out of exercise

GJR: first: are XML syntax rules being observed and proper markup, where extant (such MathML) is employed; second thing: how are they exposing the content -- how is it being rendered? is it renderable by AT? is there a way to harness the default rendering, or must alternates be explored?

NS: basically the SBO-related sites you pointed us to have giant database with XML behind it which describes molecules and proteins - relationships between them can be graphically display molecule, lots of roles and properties; graphical, tabular and hyperlinks; graph, then table with ton of links in table for properties of molecule;

NS: not going to see in web page

NS: don't see how can deliver as raw HTML - too complicated

GJR: any special plugins needed for display?

NS: put up web page with forms;

GJR: back-end relational database?

NS: yes

GJR: so scenario is serve most appropriate from backplane, rather than interpret?

NS: may have been done because browsers not able to handle

NS: expert handlers may come up against too much info;

MC: RixML covering domains in general way; MathML is specific

MC: apply expert handler to sub-content - don't know if EH for explicit language -- apply EH to subset of markup language

GJR: EH needs to handle the contextualizing so it has to be aware of the ontology markup language using, so that it can convey info in proper context

MC: take HTML and SGML and present textual data in different way; use same accessible hierarchy; want to use EH where output concept is different

NS: want to draw something HTML can't draw

MC: HTML doesn't have support for automatically numbered lists; can still use same accessible hierarchy as HTML

MC: for MusicXML can't be represented textually

NS: there is already a CSS profile for MathML

GJR: also specific DOM Bindings for MathML and proposed DOM Bindings for MathML 3.0

NS: the type of XML-derived languages we should be investigating are those that are represented by non-textual glyphs or are expressed in a non-linear way: MathML, SVG, MusicXML and CellML are most likely and useful candidate

GJR: i need to separate XML-wrappers from truly specialized content which poses rendering or input problems

ACTION GJR: separate XML-wrappers from truly specialized content which poses rendering or input problems

NS: say something meaningful about data - description of graphical relationships which could be described

MC: too tied up with XML here; going to parse, but isn't concern -- can we parsing output can't parse before?

MC: RixML interesting - does something HTML can't do, but output mechanism is still text

MC: MathML is a different output form

NS: agree that XML is a bit of red herring - an Open Office or Word document which a user needs rendered may need same expert handler

NS: all agreed on SVG and MathML and MusicXML as examples of need for expert handlers; question: are there more? what are common properties?

MC: physics markup language

NS: SVG, MathML, MusicXML, CellML, SBML

NS: concentrate on client-side rather than server-side

MC: currently, we can handle HTML, but not MathML i think the basic questions we need to ask and answer are:

  1. is the output of the specialized markup language presented to sighted people in a specific way?
  2. is there an accessible way to present this content already?
  3. is there information presented in such a way that needs different output mechanism to produce it?

MC: it is the on the client-side that we have to ask questions

NS: last week on the AIA call, there was some discussion with ZoomText about handling math and expert handlers; in my mind this is how i think it should go: suggested that EH registers with app, AT queries anyone handles node? if none handles, turns to expert handler -- if attempting to navigate, provides navigation; if attempting to get braille, get braille

PB: didn't come to conclusion - query interface and query service based on role or other info about object, query for functionality then call methods to get what needs

PB: role would make sense - attributes indicate additional information

PB: would want to break XML into different pieces - term, denominator, numerator - sub-components?

NS: want single universal handler

MC: problem with this is that EH have to know about potential forms of output; has to know how to handle speech, braille and magnification; any new output mechanism has to be added to all EHs;

NS: don't quite agree - may be no braille form for SVG;

MC: present in tactile or textual form

MC: if not specific output mechanism, use text; some things though can't be expressed in text

MC: want to avoid accessible hierarchies; need to provide method of navigating through elements -- could be done by AT, but EH would have to handle that in special way

NS: 2 models: 1) turn focus over to EH and let EH do it - one AT vendor said works for me, other said out of the question; not sure what is right solution; navigation commands -- generic commands that make sense to all EH then sub-class to music, math or whatever

PB: navigational means to move to parent and another method to put focus where wanted

MC: be problem for some ATs

PB: wouldn't be loosing control

NS: can pass event on after filtering it and asking want it or no?

PB: wouldn't turn focus over, but would enable setting of focus

MC: efficiency concern

PB: AT still calling SetFocus

MC: other suggestion is turn over tab navigation

MC: still wonder whether have to divide info into chunks, define accessible hierarchical ways to express this info; such a new area, don't know of ways can be done

GJR: at the explicit request of the SVG working group at W3C, Access Module can handle navigation order, either by id or role

ACTION: GJR - post more about CURIEs, XHTML Access Module and Element Traversal (W3C Proposed Recommendation)

Topic 2: Expert Handlers Requirements Document

discussion postponed until 24 November 2008

Topic 3: ISimpleDOMNode & AT-SPI Recap/Discussion

For Reference:

discussion postponed until 24 November 2008

Wrap Up

Upcoming Meeting Schedule

NS: schedule for next few weeks:

Identify Topics for the 2008/11/24 Expert Handlers Call

  • Specialized Markup Languages, Revisted
    • XML wrappers (RixML, NewsML) versus XML expressions of non-textual data (SVG, MathML, CellML), etc.
  • Requirements documents
    • what is and what is not an expert handler?
    • when are Expert Handlers necessary, and when are they superfluous?
    • what existing technologies can be leveraged to assist AT interact with specialized content markup?